No one's told the 'complete truth' of the Redskins and Su'a Cravens

Chris Lingebach
August 16, 2018 - 12:32 pm
Su'a_Cravens_Redskins

Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Paranoia, anxiety and mistrust are at the heart of The MMQB's new written account of the Washington Redskins' bitter divorce from Su'a Cravens.

A second-round pick in 2016, Cravens arrived in Washington as a beloved figure, billed as a linebacker/safety hybrid and the Redskins' answer to the league's growing influx of passing offense. He left under a shroud of mystery, as a promising 22-year-old NFL player suddenly ready to retire entering his second season.

In Sept. 2017, Cravens' relationship with the team who drafted him was broken beyond repair. On March 28, their divorce become final, with the Redskins trading Cravens to the Denver Broncos.

Kalyn Kahler spoke to everyone involved – the team, Cravens, his agent, former agent, doctors – on an MMQB special assignment aimed at uncovering what really transpired. Kahler joined Chad Dukes on 106.7 The Fan this week to discuss her months-long pursuit of the truth.

"I think the social media responses so far have been so telling as to this story," she told Dukes. "Because, from what I've seen, it's like 50 percent of people are like, 'Wow. Su'a is such an a--hole.' And then the other 50 percent are saying, 'The Redskins are such a--holes.' It's really straight down the middle.

"Like, both sides here, when I was reporting it, it became very clear that neither side of the story – the Redskins or Su'a – were telling the complete truth, and neither side was totally right. It's not black and white. It's such a gray area."

Much of the story centers around the Redskins' decision to part with Cravens, and an apparent broken line of communication between Cravens and the team. In the end, the Redskins placed Cravens on the rarely used reserve/left squad list, ending his 2017 season and nuking their relationship. But their lack of communication seemed to precipitate their eventual falling out.

A missed workout on Sept. 2 seemed to set the wheels of separation in motion.

As Cravens tells it, he reported to Redskins Park at 8 that morning for his own rehab/workout session, and then left the facility. But he would miss a team workout scheduled for 1:30 later in the afternoon, prompting an angry text from Paul Kelly, director of football operations. Once Cravens reached out to Chad Englehart, head strength and conditioning coach, Cravens learned there of the problem and became angry.

That evening, Josh Norman hosted teammates and Redskins staffers for a housewarming party, which Cravens, although he was invited, did not attend. While everyone else was at the party, Cravens, according to the story, fired off a series of texts to the defensive backs group chat, just hours after final cuts, informing them he was about to retire. Cravens then removed himself from the group chat.

DeAngelo Hall, recalling his reaction, said, "We were all like, 'Whoa, is this a joke? This has to to be a joke.'"

In the middle of it all, Cravens is overcome by anxiety and paranoia, which Micky Collins, director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s sports medicine concussion program, would diagnose as resulting from "lingering symptoms from a cerebral concussion sustained in Week 3 of the 2016 NFL season."

You should read Kahler's story. Every word of it. 

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